Sunday, July 1, 2012

New York, New York

New York City  has always held a fascination for me. It's one of those places we can't possibly judge solely based on an evening spent at a Mets game and/or on Broadway (though those things surely qualify as great New York moments!) , nor can we entirely rely on other people's opinions of the subway. And a lot of the city's fame, whether good or bad, true or false, comes from TV shows and films depicting life in the melting pot of all melting pots with varying degrees of believability.
Maybe mine's a romantic view, but there's a certain allure New York has with an outsider like me. 
Certainly diverse with its five boroughs and the multimillion people count (over 8,244,000 combined, with Brooklyn and Queens leading the numbers), this mecca of Starbucks, Gray's Papaya hot dogs, and crazy taxi rides delivers a package not easily found anywhere else in the world. 

Take the accents. "How to talk like a New Yorker" means more than dropping the -r and adding the -aw or -ah. My first time in Manhattan, our group's orientation included teaching us how to say "in New York you can park your car with a quarter" with the inaudible r in place. But there are definite differences in the pronunciation and attitude of speech between Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, as evidenced by people like Robert de Niro and Fran Drescher (as "Nanny"), to name a couple of obvious examples. 

One of my fondest memories of  New York City -Manhattan, to be exact- is the first date with the guy who's now my husband. I had flown across the Atlantic and was excited, overwhelmed, and jet-lagged. Crossing the streets laden with insane traffic gave him an excuse for his suave move to hold hands. We bought real New York pizza and rode an elevator up to the roof of a highrise to eat it. The pale light from the full moon, casting a yellowish glare off a suit-of-armor in the corner,  convinced me to snuggle up close to my guy. Win-win. :)
And a great view of the City at night.

While a nanny for a few weeks on Long Island, I saw a different side of  New York. Daily walks to the beach and a screened-in porch-like room to myself in the upstairs of the cedar shake shingled house made me want to write a book about it in The Great Gatsby style.

Nora Ephron, the brilliant author and director of some of my favorite movies, passed away this week. She will be missed. Here's a link to an essay she wrote. As I was reading it, my mind kept flooding with SO many comments (about her insights on love, moving, memories, and life in general), but for now you could read her words to gain one woman's perspective for a piece of life as a New Yorker.

I'm ready to experience New York all over again! How about you? Have you been?


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